USA Health gets green light for proposed Fairhope campus

Baldwin County

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) – UPDATE (6/16/2021 12:25 pm) — USA Health got the green light Wednesday morning in Montgomery to move forward with the Mapp Family Campus in Fairhope.

Before now, Infirmary Health has been the main healthcare provider in Baldwin County.

It was a unanimous decision by the Certificate of Need Review Board. A judge recommended the application be denied last month.

This will include the 25,000 square-foot surgery center.

Infirmary Health released the following statement in response to the Board’s decision.

“We are obviously disappointed with the decision by the Board that contradicts the findings of Judge Hampton, who, after 15 days of testimony by local leaders, physicians and surgery center experts, ruled just last month that there is no need for another outpatient surgery center in our area and that adding a new facility will have an ‘adverse and severe’ effect on existing healthcare services.  The proposed project is based on for-profit wants, not community needs.”

Mark Nix, President and CEO of Infirmary Health

ORIGINAL STORY (6/15/2021 12:06 pm) — A large property at the corner of Highway 181 and Highway 104 east of Fairhope is the proposed site for USA Health’s Mapp Family Campus. Plans include a research center, medical offices and a 25,000 square foot surgery center.

“It’s what’s called a freestanding ambulatory surgical center. It’s not tied directly into a hospital and therefore has reduced costs associated with it. It means lower copays and lower deductibles,” said USA Health’s Gary Mans.

The surgery center needs the state’s approval before it can be built. The Certificate of Need Review Board will ultimately green light the project, or shut it down. Weeks ago a law judge voiced his thoughts on the project.

“He recommended the application be denied, but it is only a recommendation,” added Mans.

Now, the CON board meets Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in Montgomery to hear the case. USA Health argues that Baldwin County continues to grow rapidly and needs additional healthcare options. 

“Without the proposed project, Baldwin County will be unable to address the needs of its residents through a cost-effective innovative model that has been implemented at both UCLA and Vanderbilt,” USA Health said in a statement.

A decision is expected Wednesday by noon. USA Health says if the board rules against the project they still have opportunities to fight the decision going forward. 

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